How Many Photos in a Modeling Portfolio? What Kind?

Zoolander-Magnum.  What kind and How many photos to use in a modeling portfolio?Modeling Wisdom’s true identity is all about answering people’s questions regarding modeling; to create a complete guide to modeling all on one website.  So naturally we love it when people contact or email us with direct questions that they may have.  Here is an example of a great question that a subscriber had for us and it went a little like this:  (the names and conversation have been slightly altered)

Innocent beginner model: Hey International male model Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom, and genius, may I ask you a question?

International male model Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom, and genius:  Certainly!

Innocent beginner model:  I have been shooting a lot lately and racking up many new photos.  How do I know how many and what kind of photos to put into my portfolio?

International male model Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom, and genius:  What a fantastic question my little innocent beginner model!  The answer to this question is slightly different from model to model, but here is the standard to go by.  Refine your pictures intermittently and keep about 8 to 20 of the best pictures in your portfolio. Only the very best shots.  Less is more. It is better to have less photos, though really strong ones, than a full portfolio of average photos.  Make certain you have a phenomenal head-shot, great body shot, high-fashion shot, interactive or playful shot, as well as a smiling shot included in your choices.  

Innocent beginner model: Wow, you really are a Genius.  Now that I know how many, and what kind of photos I should be using, is there any other advice you can offer to help me on my modeling journey?

International male model Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom, and genius: I humbly agree.  Aside from the photos listed above, if there is one specific genre of modeling you are interested in (fitness, beauty, high-fashion etc.), fill your book with these types of photos.  If you want to be a cook, you wouldn’t show people how good you are at gardening.  Same thing here.  If you are a great fitness model, make certain to have a few killer fitness photos/tear sheets in your book (portfolio).

Innocent beginner model: (crying) That was exactly what I needed to hear.  I am forever in debt to Modeling Wisdom and will tell every single one of my friends and family to subscribe to the website.  Thank you kindly Sir.

International male model Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom, and genius: If you ever need anything, anything at all, as long as it is about modeling, I got your back.  Take care my little innocent beginner model.

Now of course, most of this conversation is a complete dramatization and actually went nothing like that at all.  The question one the other hand, was real, and I was glad to answer it humbly and honestly.  For those wondering about modeling portfolios, as it varies from model to model, remember roughly 8 – 20 photos and less is more.  Only add photos if they are strong.  Try to incorporate a great head-shot, body shot, high fashion shot, smiling and playful/interacting shot.  Then add specific photos if you know what modeling genre works best for you.  Feel free to contact us here at Modeling Wisdom and ask any questions you may have.  We will try our best to answer your questions humbly and modestly ~ Jonah Taylor, Creator of Modeling Wisdom (not a genius).

2 Comments

  • Courtney

    Reply Reply November 5, 2012

    I am in need of some sort of guidance. All my friends and family have told me I have a model look to myself I have a distinctive jaw line. I am wondering if you can show me an exact headshot bodyshot fashion shot playful shot and smiling shot. Basically a real guidance and when I do get them done is it possible I can get your approval whether it is valid or not . Is this okay with you? I am a male btw black and Dominican

    • admin

      Reply Reply November 7, 2012

      The best way to get those photos are to get them professionally taken. This can be done anytime. You may certainly send photos if you’d like and we can give you honest feedback of whether or not they are legit. Search online for some ideas that you like and then let the photographer work with them. Good luck and let us know how it goes!:)

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